Hi, my name is Jeanette and it has been four years since my last book contract. That’s your cue to shout “Hi Jeanette!” applaud my honesty, and assure me that I’m loved.
Why let such a humbling secret slip out on a public blog for professional authors and speakers when I am a board member and ought to be setting an example? Because I know I’m not alone. Many of us are finding that, despite our hard work, the economy has affected the careers that we spent years establishing. After learning the craft, graduating from articles to books, and tasting the sweetness of adding “Author of” to the signature lines of our e-mails, the next title is suddenly a mystery. And we don’t even write mysteries! Unlike the days when lack of results often had more to do with our inability to sit ourselves down to write, we have very little control over what is going on today. We are writing, submitting, and meeting our deadlines. The editors are doing their jobs. It isn’t anyone’s fault. The world is just very uncertain right now and we’re suffering like everyone else.
This is one more reason why I love our group of authors and feel honored to serve on the board. We are here to support each other through the thrills of new releases and the bummer moments of cancelled dreams. Each of us understands that if we aren’t in a lull period now we could be tomorrow. But would we sell shoes instead? No way! Well, if bills start stacking up some of us might need to do both.
Whether you are enjoying success today or feeling stuck in a prolonged season of waiting, consider how you can encourage a struggling (or fellow struggling) author. Read a past title and blog about it. Send an uplifting e-mail or card. Write “I love you” all over her wall (followed, of course, by the Tweet “I am sitting on the patio”).
And no, I’m not suggesting all this stuff so you’ll do it for me!
Thank God that, while writing is often a lonely, solitary job, groups like CAN and other networks allow us to connect with those who truly understand the ups and downs of writing.